Bill Weld

Former governor of Massachusetts
Jump to  stances on the issues
Bill Weld dropped out of the presidential race on March 18, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Weld was the first candidate to announce he was challenging Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, saying he would “fear for the Republic” if the President were reelected. Weld was the vice presidential nominee on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016.
Harvard College, B.A., 1966; Harvard Law, JD, 1970
July 31, 1945
Leslie Marshall; divorced from Susan Roosevelt Weld
Episcopalian
David, Ethel, Mary, Quentin and Frances
Governor of Massachusetts, 1991-1997;
Assistant attorney general, 1986-1988;
US attorney for District of Massachusetts, 1981-1986;
Staffer, House Judiciary Committee, 1973-1974

WELD IN THE NEWS

Bill Weld ends Republican presidential campaign
Updated 4:05 PM ET, Wed Mar 18, 2020
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld ended his Republican presidential campaign on Wednesday after President Donald Trump won enough delegates to win the 2020 Republican nomination. "I have decided to suspend my candidacy for President of the United States, effective immediately," Weld said in an email to supporters. Visit CNN's Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race The former Massachusetts governor was the first candidate to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination. Weld told CNN's Jake Tapper in April he would "fear for the Republic" if the President were reelected.  "Leading this movement is one of the greatest honors of my life, and I will always be indebted to all who have played a part," he said Wednesday. "But while I am suspending my candidacy," Weld continued, "I want to be clear that I am not suspending my commitment to the nation and to the democratic institutions that set us apart." Weld's long-shot bid was at one point focused on winning over moderate Republicans in New Hampshire. Trump won the New Hampshire primary in February with 85.7% of the vote, compared to Weld's 9.2%. Weld had some national name recognition from when he was the vice presidential nominee on the Libertarian ticket in 2016 with former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. He was governor of New Hampshire's neighbor, Massachusetts, from 1991 to 1997, and won reelection there with more than 70% of the vote. Weld is a fierce critic of Trump, and, last April, he called for the President to resign. Weld wrote in an op-ed that Trump's "rampant dishonesty and paranoia render him incapable of serving as president." "It's time to plant a flag," Weld told CNN in a phone interview in the fall about why he launched a presidential bid. "Otherwise I'm right there with everyone else saying, 'Gee, I love the emperor's new clothes.' This emperor doesn't have any new clothes." Weld ran for Senate in Massachusetts in 1996, losing to John Kerry. He later moved to New York and in 2005 unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination there for governor. This story has been updated with more information about Weld's run and background.
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STANCES ON THE ISSUES

climate crisis
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Weld told Hill.TV in November 2019: “What we have to do is keep Earth temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees between now and 2050, and the way you do that is by putting a price on carbon, an upstream price at the well head at the mine shaft and then people can make their own decisions about how much carbon they want to emit into the atmosphere.” He said: “It’s not a command and control situation. We’re not telling people what to do, they make their own decisions, and that’s letting the market decide about carbon, it’s a much more powerful engine than just saying I’m going to spend $10 trillion to promote clean energy. You don’t know if you’re going to get there.” He said in an interview with https://weld2020.org/the-2020-twenty-bill-weld/Independent Journal Review that the US should rejoin the Paris climate accord, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has abandoned.
economy
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Weld says his top priority on day one if he is elected is to file legislation to cut spending. According to his campaign website, he also wants to increase technical education and help workers who lose their jobs to automation by making community college and online tuition available to them. Weld said he would work with Congress to end “corporate welfare.” He would also audit the Federal Reserve and work to pass a balanced budget amendment. Weld tweeted in February 2019: “In the federal budget, the two most important tasks are to cut spending and to cut taxes – and spending comes first. We need to ‘zero base’ the federal budget, basing each appropriation on outcomes actually achieved, not on last year’s appropriation plus 5%.”
education
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Weld proposes that two years of community college and the last two years of tuition at state colleges or universities should be free. He said his administration would review the federal loan process to make sure students aren’t loaned amounts they won’t be able to pay off. He says Congress should get rid of the provision that does not allow student debt to be renegotiated. He said he would prioritize reducing the interest rate on federal student loans and would extend scholarships for vocational training. Weld delivered a speech in February 2019 in which he said, according to Boston.com: “Parents need more options regarding the education of their children. We need to support school choice. We need to support home schooling. We need to support charter schools. And we need to consider abolishing the US Department of Education, transferring decision-making authority to the states and the parents of school-age and college-age children.”
gun violence
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Weld said in an interview with Independent Journal Review that in order to combat gun violence, “I don’t think we want to focus on gun ownership. I do think that the 300 million rifles in private hands, lawfully acquired, constitutes a bulwark against a government overreaching. The real reason for the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, in my judgment, is not so people can go hunting. It’s really so people will have the guns in self-defense. … All guns are dangerous, and to address the school shootings and terrible mass murders, one obvious thing is to do everything possible to keep firearms — of any sort — out of the hands of people who are unstable and have any history of mental illness.”
healthcare
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Weld proposes amending and building upon certain features of the Affordable Care Act. He also wants to bring back low-cost health insurance plans. He plans to provide hospital vouchers for veterans who want to pick different facilities. Weld said he would encourage companies to provide family and medical leave by providing tax incentives and credits. He would also push for Medicare to be permitted to negotiate prescription drug prices. Weld said in an interview with Independent Journal Review: “I think we need less government in the health care system. I think individuals should have their own tax-advantaged health savings accounts so that they can save up for the amount of protection that they wanted.”
immigration
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Weld pledges to make it easier for people to enter our country and contribute to the economy.Weld said his administration would expand the work visa program, put an end to mass deportations and simplify the adjudication process for immigration. Weld said in an interview with Independent Journal Review: “I think we should have more work visas, not less. Enforce them but have them available. We should have a guest worker program similar to Canada’s where people come and work for four months of the agricultural season or the construction season. … And I think the whole notion that the 11 million people who have overstayed their visas — so-called undocumented immigrants — a lot of those people just overstayed their visa. And to say all of them automatically have to get citizenship, that’s just crazy.”

LATEST POLITICAL NEWS

US Catholic bishops advance communion document, setting up potential rebuke of Biden
Updated 3:42 PM ET, Fri Jun 18, 2021
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Friday proceeded with a plan that would deny communion to public figures who support abortion rights, setting up a potential public rebuke of President Joe Biden. By a vote of 168 to 55, with six abstentions, the bishops went forward with plans for a report on the meaning of the Eucharist in the church. The vote is part of a longer process, and a rebuke of Biden and other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights is not assured. The report will be developed over the summer and presented for amendments and approval in November. The Vatican would have to approve any action on behalf of the bishops, and would likely delay that approval if a pointed report is issued. Biden, an abortion rights advocate who is the first Catholic US president in nearly 60 years, is the most openly religious president since Jimmy Carter. This movement is driven by the extremely conservative wing of the Catholic Church. Some bishops want the report to be a broader teaching tool for all Catholics about the importance of the sacrament of communion and they have been reminding their fellows of the Pope's exhortation to avoid divisiveness. Asked at the end of remarks at the White House Friday afternoon about the vote, Biden replied, "That's a private matter and I don't think it's going to happen." Pew surveys show more than half of US Catholics favor abortion rights and most American Catholics do not believe Biden should be refused communion. Catholics for Choice, a liberal Catholic group that advocates for abortion rights, said it was "profoundly saddened" by Friday's vote and condemned using the Eucharist "as a weapon of punishment." "In a country and church already riven with tension and division, today the bishops chose to be partisan instead of pastoral, cruel rather than Christ-like," the group said. "They have chosen to disobey Jesus's command to 'feed one another,' but everyday U.S. Catholics -- 67 percent of whom oppose withholding Communion and other Sacraments from supporters of abortion rights -- will continue to know better and do better." This story is breaking and will be updated.
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